Eusebius of Caesarea: the Manuscripts

The Historia Ecclesiastica or Church History is probably the most famous work by Eusebius of Caesarea.  Revised several times, although scholars disagree about how many (the '3' and '4' versions listed here follow the theory of Schwartz), the reader is referred to the literature for a discussion of the composite nature of the text.  Composition began around 311, and 4 versions were issued.  The final version of the group of Greek MSS.

The Greek Text

Primary MSS

Siglum Location Shelfmark & Notes Date /
B Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France Codex Parisinus Graecus 1431. Vellum.  Formerly Colbert 621, then Reg. 2280.  Labelled 'E' by Burton. 11-12
D Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France Codex Parisinus Graecus 1433. Vellum. Called 'F' by Heikel. 11-12
T Florence, Medicean-Laurentian library Codex Laurentianus 70, 7.  Vellum.  Called 'I' by Burton. 10-11
E Florence, Medicean-Laurentian library Codex Laurentianus 70, 20.  Vellum. Called 'K' by Burton. 10
R Moscow Codex Mosquensis 50.  Vellum.  Called 'J' by Heikel. 12

The translation may have been one of those mentioned by Moses of Chorene (III. 60).  In the early 5th century Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of the Armenian script, and Isaac the Great, sent translators to Edessa to make copies from Syriac of all the fathers, translated into Armenian.  We still have translations from the Syriac of Ephraem, Aphrahat, Labubna; the letters of Ignatius of Antioch; Irenaeus, possibly Hippolytus.  The style of the translation of Aphrahat is identical to that of the Eusebius.


K. LAKE, Eusebius: The Ecclesiastical History, London: Heinemann, New York: G.P.Putnam (Loeb Library), (1926).
P. Bedjan, Eusebe de Cesaree: Histoire ecclesiastique.  Editee (en syriac) pour le premier fois. Leipzig (1897).  Printed in the Nestorian hand.
W. WRIGHT and N. McLEAN, The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius in Syriac.  Cambridge (1898).  Online at

That said, we shouldn't limit ourselves just because we are used to working in a specific way.

This is the footer. That is hardly a surprise.